BIDDEFORD — Sherrie Daly-DeMeule’s family struggled Monday to understand why a woman who had such an impact on so many people died so young.

“She was one in a million,” said Cindy Petrin, her only sister, who lives in Arundel. “She always made time to do things for everyone. She was so kind and generous. Everyone loved her. We’re still in shock. This all happened way too fast.”

Mrs. DeMeule died unexpectedly Friday. She was 50.

She leaves behind her husband, Kevin DeMeule, and their daughter, Caitlyn, who both live in Biddeford.

Mrs. DeMeule was the business office coordinator at Huntington Common Retirement Community in Kennebunk.

She worked in the human resources office for nearly 10 years and had a number of responsibilities such as hiring, payroll and benefits administration.

Mrs. DeMeule was a strong advocate for Huntington Common’s employees and residents. This past summer, she organized an outing for the staff and their families at Funtown Splashtown USA. For many years, she also helped organize Huntington’s annual walk to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association of Maine.

“I know how stellar of an employee and person she was,” said her sister-in-law Deb Dryden, of Lyman, who used to work with her. “She liked the connection with the senior residents. She had a great appreciation for the senior population.”

Mrs. DeMeule grew up in Biddeford and met her future husband when she was a young girl — her parents were close friends with his parents. They began dating as teenagers and were married for 30 years. Dryden said her brother is struggling to cope with his wife’s passing.

“Sherrie was Kevin’s rock,” she said. “He is completely devastated and feeling quite lost without her.”

Their 18-year-old daughter, Caitlyn, is struggling, too. She is starting her first year of college this fall.

Mrs. DeMeule was described as a dedicated and supportive mother who was active in her daughter’s life. She was president and treasurer of the Biddeford High School Band Booster Committee. Dryden said Mrs. DeMeule attended every event and performance her daughter participated in.

“Sherrie was the best mother anyone could ever have,” she said. “She lived a lot of her life through her daughter’s eyes and dreams. They were extremely close more like best friends.”

The DeMeules enjoyed spending time at the family cottage, the “Pink Camp,” on Little Ossippee Lake in Waterboro. Mrs. DeMeule grew up spending summers there, and Dryden said she spent every weekend at the cottage with her family during the summer. She enjoyed swimming, boating and entertaining her guests, Dryden said.

“Sherrie was famous for making margaritas,” she said. “She loved to entertain. She was a gracious hostess.”

Mrs. DeMeule became ill Wednesday morning and went to the hospital. Her health rapidly declined, and she died two days later with her family and close friends by her side.

“We are in complete disbelief and shock,” Dryden said. “We have such a huge void that no one, I am quite sure, will come close to filling.”

Staff Writer Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at: [email protected]